New Delhi: Car sales in India grew by 6.85% in February this year, reflecting improving consumer sentiments, prompting industry body Siam to expect it to remain in positive territory with single digit growth this fiscal.
According to the data released by the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (Siam), domestic passenger car sales stood at 1,71,727 units in February this year as compared to 1,60,717 units in the same month of 2014.
“This is a reflection of the improving consumer sentiments. With the Budget addressing issues that will lead to overall economic growth, we expect car sales this fiscal to be in positive territory with single digit growth,” Siam deputy director general Sugato Sen told reporters.
He said negative sentiments that were affecting car sales have now worn off and February sales were to a large extent continuation of the positive sentiments that were brought when the new government came to power.
“March sales should be better than February as it is usually a month of good sales for the industry,” Sen said, adding different measures announced in the Budget to boost the economy should increase demand of vehicles across all segments.
He said steps like more allocation for employment under MNREGA, which will lead to more income in rural areas could help boost demand of two-wheelers, specially motorcycles which saw a decline in February, and light commercial vehicles.
In February, country’s largest car maker Maruti Suzuki India saw its domestic sales grow by 7.25% to 90,728 units as against 84,595 units in the same month last year. Rival Hyundai Motor India’s sales grew by 9.7% to 37,163 units as compared to 33,875 units in February last year.
Honda Cars India saw its sales grew by 4.05% to 15,065 units as against 14,478 units last year.
Homegrown Tata Motors sales grew by 30.79% to 11,805 units from 9,026 units in the year-ago month.
Utility vehicle major Mahindra & Mahindra saw its sales decline by 5.13% to 17,805 units as against 18,768 units in February last year.
During the month, total two-wheeler sales were down by 0.99% to 12,08,084 units from 12,20,141 units in the same period a year ago.
According to SIAM, motorcycle sales in last month were down by 8.22% to 7,74,122 units from 8,43,436 units in the same month previous year. Sen said poor harvest and drying up of funds under MNREGA had impacted demand of motorcycles in rural areas. Motorcycle market leader Hero MotoCorp. saw its bike sales decline by 7.68% to 4,07,809 units as against 4,41,716 units in the same month last year.